The long coated small breeds are characterized by a certain appealing full fluffiness, as opposed to the parted coat-breeds, which are characterized by long, smooth, flowing hair, which is more similar to long human hair. For this reason, keep this in mind when grooming long-coated small dogs: Think of the coat standing out from the body, rather than lying flat against the skin.
When you have finished giving your small dog a bath, below is a step by step process on how to groom that long fluffy coat.
- After drying your dog, blow-dry the long coat to keep it from drying into tangles. With the blow-dryer on cool or low setting, work from the bottom up, using the pin brush or slicker brush to fluff-dry. Divide the hair into sections with the pin brush or slicker brush and hold them out from the body as you blow-dry.
- Keep the blow-dryer moving over each piece of hair until it is dry, then work your way up. Start with the legs and rear end and work your way up and forward. Keep brushing and fluffing for fullness, keeping the coat free from tangles.
- Finish by running a metal comb through the coat to make sure that you did not miss a single tangle or snag.
- With a #10 blade on your electric clipper, shave your dog's anal area to keep it clean and free of long hair and tangles. Be careful not to touch the blade directly on your dog's skin. Another way of keeping this area clean is to clip it neatly with scissors.
- Depending on the breed or if you like the idea of having your dog's underside free of long hair, with the same #10 blade, shave your dog's abdomen from groin to naval and down the insides of both thighs. Shave with the lay of the hair.
- Trim between your dog's paw pads with scissors, and if hair covers the feet, trim around the feet so the hair reaches the ground evenly around the paw in a rounded shape.
- Brush and comb the hair on your dog's head, ears, and face.
- Stand back and look at the dog's shape. Scissor any stray long hairs without changing the shape of the coat. Just look for uneven, stray areas that stand out after brushing.
- To finish the dog and take advantage of the coat’s fluffiness, spray it with coat conditioner or coat dressing to keep it soft and in place, then brush lightly over the top of the coat to set. Brush from bottom up and from shoulders forward to fluff-the ruff. Fluff the tail, the body, and the chest.